Call for Workshop Participants
The End of an Era?
15 Years of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic TV
16-17 October, 2015. Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK.
In late September 2015, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS, 2000-2015) will finally wrap its 15-season run with a two-hour finale, promised to feature the return of some of the series original cast. The programme has been understood as re-defining the TV landscape of the new millennium in terms of its popularity and the resulting reversal of fortunes for its original broadcaster CBS, and its distributors and producers - including Alliance Atlantis and Jerry Bruckheimer, for whom the series presented a first – and very successful – foray into television production. It popularised the focus on forensic science as investigative methodology and, as a result, helped to redefine narrative structure and verisimilitude in the crime genre. It also brought a focus on visual and aural display – of the crime scene but more importantly of the corpse – which created a specific visual aesthetic that has since been much emulated. Its popularity has sparked not just a number of spin-offs, extensions, exhibits, and merchandise but also a significant body of scholarly work that examines the variety of pleasures, displeasures and interests drawing audiences to the series. This includes the representation of the abject body but also its style, its quality, its merchandise, etc.
To mark the end of one of the most pivotal television shows of the 2000s, and perhaps also the wider forensic turn that has characterised crime television of the last two decades, we are organizing a two-day workshop at Oxford Brookes University, gathering scholars who have all contributed to the study of the crime genre and forensics in popular culture. The event starts on Friday October 16th at 5pm, with a screening of the two-hour finale of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, followed by drinks and dinner. On Saturday October 17th we will organize a number of roundtable discussions, focused on pre-determined topics. These might include:
· The impacts of CSI (on the crime genre, television and culture)
· Post-forensic crime television
· Forensic aesthetics
· The CSI Franchise
· Discourses on science and the body
· Issues of representation: gender, race and sexuality in CSI
· Transnational distribution and reception
· Mainstream or Exceptional? CSI, quality television and complex TV
· The history of forensic television
· Teaching CSI
· The future of research on forensic TV
Register by sending your Name, Affiliation, Contact Details and workshop interest to: firstname.lastname@example.org before September 7th 2015. Please note that registration is free, as is a light lunch and refreshments on the Saturday, but participants have to pay for their own travel expenses, accommodation and additional meals. A detailed workshop schedule will be sent out to registered participants in mid-September.
We were thrilled to read this fabulous review of Captivating Criminality: Traditions and Transgressions, featured in the latest edition of HARTS & Minds: The Journal of Humanities and Arts. The review was written by Elena Avanzas Ålvarez, a PhD candidate at the University of Oviedo in Spain, who is currently working on her thesis on women's representation in 21st century crime fiction. We were pleased to welcome Elena to this year's conference and we look forward to her continued association with the conference and the Network. Her review gives a taste of the broad range of research presented this year and just how fruitful an annual event of this kind can be for all concerned.
SURVEILLANCE │ SOCIETY │ CULTURE
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE, GEORG-AUGUST-UNIVERSITÄT GÖTTINGEN, FEBRUARY 26-28, 2016
DEADLINE: SEPTEMBER 21, 2015
Have we grown accustomed to living under constant observation in what sociologist David Lyon has called a “surveillance society”? What only a few decades ago would have been considered a totalitarian nightmare seems to have become reality: surveillance practices and technologies have infiltrated all aspects of our lives, forcing us to reconsider established notions of privacy, subjectivity, and the status of the individual within society.
The United States is central to contemporary concerns about surveillance. American companies are at the forefront of developing surveillance technologies; internet corporations such as Google or Facebook have brought the accumulation and commercialization of “big data” to an unprecedented level of efficiency; and in the wake of 9/11 and the ongoing “war against terror,” governmental agencies such as the NSA are gathering and monitoring communication on a global scale. Therefore American Studies offers a fruitful place to begin discussing the impact of surveillance on society and culture. Nevertheless, the discussion will have to extend beyond disciplinary boundaries just as the impact and etiology of surveillance extend beyond the borders of the nation state. This broad view of the
multiplicity of viewpoints is an acknowledgment that the ubiquity of surveillance makes it difficult to assess. Surveillance takes many forms; works in innumerable areas of private, public and professional life; performs multiple functions; serves countless masters; utilizes a variety of strategies, techniques and technologies. One way to render this polymorphous and elusive sociocultural phenomenon tangible is to study its representations in literature, film, and art. This conference therefore aims to study the cultures and society of surveillance. The goal is to bring
together literary, cultural and surveillance studies to provide a transdisciplinary framework and generate new approaches to fundamental questions: How has surveillance changed historically and how have these changes been discussed both in the American and in the transnational context?
How have these changes been represented in literary and visual culture? What is the ideological significance of surveillance-related genres like the detective or spy novel? Is there an “ethics” of surveillance and how are ethical questions negotiated in literature and culture? How is “meaning” produced textually and semiotically in a surveillance situation? How can cultural artifacts like novels or films operate as actors in the multiple networks of surveillance? How can the processes of subject formation that constitute the observers as well as the observed be described? How do the arts reflect the challenges to the individual posed by technological development? How does the omnipresence of various gazes affect cultural narratives of the “self”?
Possible topics could include but are certainly not limited to:
• Surveillance and/in/of literature and film
• Visual culture(s) and/of surveillance
• Surveillance (and) art
• Performance and surveillance
• The media of surveillance
• Surveillance and network culture
• “Big Brother” in the digital age
• Ideologies of surveillance
• Surveillance and critical posthumanism
• Neoliberalism and Surveillance
• Techniques of auto-surveillance (lifelogging, “wearables”, “The Quantified Self Movement” etc.)
• Forms of resistance (“sousveillance”, “counterveillance” etc.)
• Surveillance and questions of race, class and gender
• Post-Foucauldian theories of surveillance (e. g. Thomas Mathisen's “synopticon”, Zygmunt
Bauman's “post-panopticon” or Siva Vaidhyanathan's “cryptopticon“)
We invite scholars of American Studies and related fields such as Cultural Studies, Film & Media Studies, Comparative Literature or Philosophy to submit a short abstract (approx. 300 words) and a short bio-bibliographic note to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org by September 21, 2015.
For further inquiries please contact: email@example.com.
Conference Organizers: Florian Zappe and Andrew S. Gross (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen).
Dr. Fiona Peters is Reader in Crime Fiction at Bath Spa University in the UK. She is a Patricia Highsmith scholar and is director of the Captivating Criminality project.